Did you find Wild lettuce pain killer? People have used natural remedies, such as medicinal plants, for centuries to treat a variety of symptoms, including pain.
Wild lettuce pain killer is a plant that has traditionally been used to relieve pain and induce sleep. It is used by people who are looking for alternatives to traditional medications.
Though wild lettuce has a number of health benefits, many people are unaware of the negative side effects that can result from consuming this plant. The health benefits and potential hazards of wild lettuce are discussed in this article.
(Getty Images/Nicolas Leser)
What exactly is wild lettuce?
Wild lettuce (Lactuca virosa) is grown in a number of countries around the world, including Iran, Austria, France, Germany, and Scotland.
This herb grows well in sunny areas, such as along riverbanks and roadside, and can reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 meters).
The leaves of wild lettuce are bright green and sprout from a green stem that is occasionally spotted purple. When scratched, the plant secretes lactucarium, a milky white substance.
When dried, this compound resembles opium, a pain reliever extracted from unripe opium poppy seedpods. From ancient times until the nineteenth century, opium was widely used as a pain reliever and sedative (1Trusted Source).
Lactucarium may have the same effects as opium, but with fewer side effects.
In fact, due to its purported pain-relieving properties, wild lettuce is often referred to as “opium lettuce” (2Trusted Source).
Doctors have traditionally used wild lettuce as a pain reliever and treatment for conditions such as whooping cough, with research studies dating back to 1815. (3Trusted Source).
Today, many different wild lettuce products are available that contain extracts of the plant’s seeds, leaves, and milky sap.
These tinctures, powders, oils, and pills are sold to treat a variety of ailments, including:
- breathing problems caused by anxiety
- sleep deprivation joint pain
- Furthermore, foragers who collect and eat wild plants will occasionally consume raw wild lettuce.
Furthermore, wild lettuce contains psychoactive properties and is sometimes used recreationally by people seeking a natural high.
SUMMARY The extract of wild lettuce seeds, leaves, and sap is added to a variety of natural products that claim to alleviate a variety of health concerns, including pain and anxiety.
Is it capable of relieving pain?
Lactucarium, or wild lettuce extract, has long been used to treat pain.
Lactucarium contains the bitter substances lactucin and lactucopicrin, which act on the central nervous system to produce pain-relieving and sedative effects (4Trusted Source).
These compounds are classified as sesquiterpene lactones, a type of beneficial substance found in Asteraceae plants such as lettuce, calendula, and chicory (5Trusted Source).
Sesquiterpene lactones, in fact, make up a large portion of the lactucarium secreted by wild lettuce.
Despite the fact that many natural healthcare companies and homeopathic websites promote wild lettuce as a pain reliever, scientific evidence is lacking.
Few human studies on wild lettuce and pain relief have been conducted, though animal studies suggest that the compounds in wild lettuce extract may have pain-relieving properties.
A study in mice, for example, found that lactucin and lactucopicrin combined had comparable pain-relieving effects as 30 mg of ibuprofen at doses of 7 and 13.5 mg per pound (15 and 30 mg per kg) of body weight (6Trusted Source).
However, animal studies on the pain-relieving properties of wild lettuce are limited, and more human-centered research is needed.
SUMMARY: Although wild lettuce has been used to treat pain since ancient times, there is little evidence to support its use in humans.
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Other possible advantages
Aside from pain, wild lettuce is promoted as a natural treatment for a variety of conditions, including:
- respiratory problems
- cramps during menstruation
- agitation due to poor circulation
- urinary tract infections
When applied to the skin, it is also thought to have antibacterial properties.
Though information on the alleged healing properties of wild lettuce can be found on many alternative medicine websites, there is currently no scientific evidence to support its use to treat any of the conditions listed above.
Other types of sesquiterpene lactones from the Asteraceae family have been shown in studies to be effective in reducing inflammation, which may help with certain conditions such as arthritis (7Trusted Source).
Sesquiterpenes also have antioxidant, antibacterial, and antitumor properties.
Chamomile, a member of the Asteraceae family, contains chamazulene, a sesquiterpene with strong antioxidant properties (8Trusted Source).
Feverfew, which belongs to the Asteraceae family, contains parthenolide, which inhibited the growth of leukemia cells in a test-tube study (9Trusted Source).
However, few studies have been conducted on the specific compounds found in wild lettuce.
Until more research on the health benefits of wild lettuce is conducted, the claims made by certain websites and supplement companies cannot be substantiated.
SUMMARY While other types of sesquiterpene lactones from the Asteraceae plant family have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is unknown if wild lettuce has the same.
Side effects, possible risks, and alternatives
Though the benefits of wild lettuce have yet to be studied, its side effects have received more attention.
According to research, wild lettuce can be harmful to your health (10Trusted Source).
In one study, eight people who consumed raw wild lettuce developed symptoms such as (11Trusted Source):
- dizziness, hypersensitivity to light, sweating, and hallucinations
- urination retention
- vision hazard
- The potential side effects of wild lettuce supplements are unknown due to a lack of research.
There is no way of knowing how wild lettuce extract will interact with various medications.
Because animal studies suggest that wild lettuce extract may have sedative properties, people who take sedatives should avoid taking wild lettuce supplements.
Furthermore, ingesting wild lettuce may cause dangerous hallucinations.
You should consult a healthcare professional before using wild lettuce.
Alternatives to wild lettuce that are less dangerous
Trying more researched alternatives may be a safer bet for people looking for more natural ways to treat pain and inflammation.
CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant that has numerous health benefits.
Several studies have found that CBD oil can help reduce inflammation, relieve chronic pain, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality (12Trusted Source).
With few side effects, turmeric and omega-3 fish oil supplements can help reduce pain and inflammation (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
Yoga, exercise, meditation, acupuncture, and heat therapy are all evidence-based natural pain relievers (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
There is little information available about the potentially harmful side effects of raw wild lettuce or related supplements. For pain relief, it may be best to try safer, evidence-based alternatives.
People who are looking for a natural pain reliever use wild lettuce.
However, research to back up this and other alleged benefits is lacking. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that the treatment may have dangerous side effects.
It’s unclear whether wild lettuce is safe or effective right now.
Instead, consider wholesome, whole-body practices such as yoga, meditation, or exercise.